As a mentee – its very helpful to provide mentors with some feedback to provide them with guidance on how the sessions are going, and to point them in the right direction so that you both can extract the most out of your mentoring session.
We often recommend providing feedback using the “feedback sandwich”:
Before you start, think through some of the key things you want to tackle in your mentoring session and how your mentor might be able to help. Reflect on how your last mentoring session went, and how you would like to tailor the next session so that you achieve the outcome you are seeking.
It is important to be clear in how you express this so that your mentor understands. The more clear your ideas are before you start writing your feedback, the more coherent and useful your feedback will be, so get your thoughts in order first.
Try to define your mentor’s greatest strengths and areas and ways they helped you the most. Think of the good aspects of the mentoring session you would like to see more of.
Think of ways your mentor communicated with you that was the most effective so that your mentor knows to do this in future mentoring sessions.
Here are some questions to help you think about this:
Talk about why these things are important to you, or why making these changes would add value to the mentorship relationship. This way even if your mentor doesn’t take your suggestion, hopefully they can do something else that would still address your why.
If you want to see changes actually implemented, it is helpful to suggest what the solutions are rather than just the problems (since your manager can’t read your mind!).
It is important to conduct yourself professionally while still remaining honest. You don’t want to hurt their feelings; instead, your feedback should drive them to make positive changes.
Try to be constructive over just being negative.
Your mentor cannot change the past any more than you can, so gear your feedback towards what can and should be improved moving forward, rather than looking back as past bad experiences. Suggest what you’d like to see next time or new goals that you’d like to strive towards.
Make it clear that you appreciate their assistance and their time devoted to mentoring you and recognize its challenges. In the long run, if your mentor is better at mentoring, you’ll get more out of it!
Feedback is great – but it is important to make sure you recap on the action plan agreed with your mentor.
The feedback form has a specific section for this. We recommend you outline: